In an effort to reduce its carbon footprint and ultimately send zero waste from its manufacturing facilities to landfills, Diageo, the world’s leading spirits, wine and beer company, on March 9 announced that its Plainfield, Ill., facility is implementing a new by-product reuse initiative that will send berries and seeds from gin production to Waste Management Inc.’s local composting site. In addition, Diageo is expanding its paper-recycling program in Plainfield and the company is launching a new initiative that converts municipal solid waste into power and steam instead of sending it to a landfill at its Amherstberg, Ontario, facility.

Together, these initiatives will deliver considerable energy savings and keep more than 400 tons of waste out of landfills each year.

“One of the most significant ways we can reduce our carbon footprint is by limiting the amount of waste we send to landfills,” said Dave Wengerhoff, senior vice president of Diageo’s Brand Technical Center. “By expanding our paper recycling program, finding innovative ways to reuse by-product, and converting solid waste into power and steam, we are making positive strides towards establishing zero waste to landfill – a central goal in Diageo’s commitment to sustainability.”

At the Plainfield facility, the paper-recycling program in the technical center was expanded to include cardboard, packing materials such as plastic wrap and bottles, and Styrofoam. It is expected that this expansion will result in annual savings of approximately 928 trees, 3,276,000 gallons of water, and an energy savings of 12,285 kilowatt hours. The expanded recycling program and new by-product reuse initiative will help the Plainfield facility keep nearly 200 tons per year out of the landfill, which is equivalent to 126,048 gallon milk bottles.

The by-product reuse initiative, meanwhile, is already under way as the facility is storing the seeds and berries on site in extra containers until the compost site opens in April. The program is expected to keep nearly 66 tons of waste out of the landfill each year.

At the Amherstberg plant, all of the site’s municipal solid waste, previously destined for landfills, is now being sent to a refuse-derived fuel waste-to-energy plant. The solid waste is used to power a steam plant that generates up to 68 megawatts of electricity, which is sold to the Detroit Edison Corporation. By using this process, approximately 245 tons of waste will be kept out of the landfill each year and, in total, 100 percent of the site’s waste to landfill is now being diverted to help create energy.

About Diageo
Diageo is the world’s leading premium drinks business with a collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines.